With years of both positive and negative care experiences in the mental health system, author Caroline Fei-Yeng Kwok writes honestly and provocatively about what recovery-oriented care truly looks like.
Often touted as a living example of recovery, Caroline Fei-Yeng Kwok has come a long way in the more than three decades since she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. An immigrant from Hong Kong, she hadn’t even known what the term meant at first, struggled with side-effects she didn’t understand and experienced isolation due to stigma in her community. Her journey to recovery lacked the empowerment she says is critical to high quality care. Getting from those early years to where she is today was not an easy transition. She educated herself about her illness and the health care system, and took writing courses at Yale University to learn how to tell her story. Today, Caroline’s hard work has benefited not only her, but also the wider mental health community. Her book Free to Fly: A Story of Manic Depression(a Chinese version is also in print) has been used in university courses and her writing on recovery-reoriented care and immigrant and refugee mental health has been published in research journals. She speaks often to various audiences, including to the Chinese community where she helps tackle the stigma surrounding mental illness. Both a service provider and a mentor to other new Canadians living with mental illness, she is teaching the next generation of clinicians about recovery-oriented care.